News Matches

'Messi is an inspiration' - Braithwaite opens up on life at Barcelona and Suarez's return

12:00 BST 08/06/2020
Martin Braithwaite/Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20
The Danish attacker has turned his dream into a reality and has relished the chance to play alongside one of the game's greats

Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite has described Lionel Messi as an "inspiration" as he reflected on his first few months at Camp Nou.

The 29-year-old was a surprise signing in February after injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele left Barcelona short on attackers. While yet to score for the club across three appearances, Braithwaite did contribute two assists on his debut as he gets used to playing with the Catalans. 

Messi is one player the Dane hasn't struggled to gel with as he noted the Argentina legend has already begun improving his game. 

"It changes a lot, of course," Braithwaite told Goal when asked about his opinion on Messi now he plays alongside him.

"He gives so much confidence to the team because he can make the difference and also helped me personally to be a better player with his advice and how he sees football. He is really an inspiration."

Signed in the wake of an injury to Suarez, Braithwaite may now struggle for minutes when the Liga season resumes this week with the Uruguayan star now fully fit again, but rather than despair at his likely limited role at Camp Nou, the Denmark international is eager to learn from Suarez. 

"Honestly I don't think in that kind of way. I am so happy that Luis is back because when I came here he was injured and I haven't played with him," he said. "I want to learn from him, he is one of the best strikers in the world and I am happy he is back." 

After previously playing for the likes of Leganes, Middlesbrough and Toulouse, Braithwaite has found things quite different on the training ground at Camp Nou. 

"The training is totally different to what I was used to so I can feel I am developing a lot in the technical level," Braithwaite said. "As a human I can feel I have more attention in such a big club like this but you must learn to live with all this attention."

One year ago, the prospect of Braithwaite being a Barcelona player would have been laughed off by many, but the fact it has happened convinces the man himself that no dream should be deemed too hard to reach as he hopes his time at the club will show his grandchildren anything is possible. 

He said: "I just want to tell them everything is possible in life. If you put your mind in it you can achieve your dreams."